This is one of the weirdest posts I’ve ever had to write – as someone who’s a huge dessert and anything sweet fan.
Firstly, I’m not a nutritionist or dietitian, so I have absolutely no idea if what I’m about to say is the truth, but I think it’s spoken with sense, common sense. Besides, if you think this is my idea of BS, Lord only knows what you’d think of my Twitter Feed!
Honestly, I think I’m addicted to sugar.
This is in no way a joke nor something that I’m trying to make fun of. It’s real!
I didn’t think it was possible for anyone to be addicted to sugar because I never thought our bodies could react to it as severely as say: alcohol, cigarettes, or a substance.
I never saw it to be something that could be addictive. I just thought it’s a (sort of) natural ingredient that our body craves – mine more than most’s!
When I say “I’m addicted”, I don’t mean I can’t stop eating foods which contain it, though… There are two types of addiction in my opinion, one where you feel as though you can’t stop taking/doing it, and another where you can stop straight away but go through SHIZA Minnelli in the process! I’m the latter. I know this because Lent is a big thing for me and I chose to give up sugar in the name of it once, it worked.
I’m well aware that it’s too early for Lent, but it’s the New Year so I’ve been trying to go as much “cold turkey” on sugar as I could – and my body is now struggling…
I’ve not had a what I thought was the “normal level of sugar intake per day” for almost three. Last night, though, I really struggled. I felt like someone suffering from – dare I say it – “withdrawals”. I’ve never been addicted to anything in my life so I didn’t know what was happening… I just knew it resembled things I’d seen in the past. 😐
It was like my body got so used to sugary-foods, that it relies on them to function. I thought I always exaggerated my “sugar addiction” when I used to write about and poke fun of it, but now I’m not so sure…
Is it possible to be addicted to sugar? I think it is. In fact, scrap that, I now know it is.
As I shared in a post earlier this week, I don’t believe in going “cold turkey” on something – unless the person doing it is strong enough to overcome the repercussions. My advice would be to not cut it out of your diet entirley until you’ve weaned yourself off of it a bit… Limit your intake.
For example, if you want to cut down on rice, start off with a plate of it alongside your favourite stew, then a cup full, then a small bowl of it and so on… That way, it’s still in your system but you’re limiting the amount each time until eventually, you no longer want it.
I mean, last night, I could’ve easily got up and raided the chocolate cupboard in the kitchen, but I didn’t.
Instead, I had a dark chocolate wafer (one wafer that’s so thin and has just one or two layers of dark chocolate spread isn’t even a sin) and some dates. *not ones that include my significant other*
I know I’m still in the early days of a “sugar detox” – but – I do think I’m overall doing it right.
Do you remember when I mentioned Ovomaltine? I had gotten 7 bars of the stuff to share with one of my best friends – it’s a sentimental thing we do because it reminds us of Switzerland, our main holiday destination. ❤
Anyway, I kid you not, I’ve only had three rows of it and no more (since I got it in mid-December). That is an achievement. I say this because the old me would have eaten most, if not all of it, but I haven’t. That – right there – is progress.
I’ve been doing some research on Sugar Addiction and ways to counteract it. Here (after two more paragraphs of drivel) are some of the things that kept popping up everywhere. Also, there’s a great blog called “Carrots n’ Cake” which I think y’all should have a look at if you’re in a similar boat to me. 🙁
Right, so, as I was saying, here are a few tips that I came across and my honest opinion of them. Please remember that everyone is different. Just because I may not swear by some of these, that in no way means they don’t or can’t work for you. It’s also of no indication that they’re bad tips or the wrong ones for sugar addiction sufferers like myself!
1) “Eat *more* REAL food”
I do agree with this to an extent because we all need real food to stay healthy but REAL food never gives you the satisfaction that “fake” foods i.e. ones that contain sugar does.
I speak for myself when I say that the last thing anyone who’s addicted to sugar wants to do is to replace it with something less satisfying like a savoury dish. If you buy a Louis Vuitton bag for example, you wouldn’t happily replace it with a Bag for Life from M&S, would you? Exactly.
(M&S Bags for Life are great, but they’re not the same and are used for different things entirely, that is the point I’m trying to make here).
The trick is to put a sweet twist on the “REAL” food so as not to make it boring.
For example, you’ve just had some Quinoa salad but you’ve still got room for “dessert”… Bung some sweet potato wedges in the oven, spread Organic peanut butter over them and sprinkle some cinnamon, shredded/toasted coconuts from Holland & Barret or raisins on top. That’s a dessert that’s satisfying and has some albeit healthy sugar right there! If that’s not your thing, frozen berries from the Supermarket with a dollop of yoghurt wouldn’t go amiss either.
2) “Cut sugar out from your diet completely”
In my opinion – this one gets a resounding “OH HELL NO!” from me and all of my organs. Never do this – unless you’re capable – which, if you’re addicted to it in the first place, it means you’re not (capable, that is).
Listen, I might be addicted to sugar but I don’t believe in “sugar coating” things that I cannot eat… Fortunately for myself, I’ve never had to eat my words.
It’s a known fact that our body needs sugar in one way or another. It’s wishful thinking to belusive that you’re never going to pick up a bar of chocolate again… They are everywhere and so is temptation.
What’s more, sugar can be taken in different forms (which is something I’ve said about a billion times, in this post alone).
Take me as an example, I take sugar in the shape of chewy vitamins and fruits. However, that doesn’t mean I restrict or prohibit myself from indulging in a piece of dark chocolate either… The trick is to replace sugary things e.g. drinks – with fruity water or diluted squash. You’re still getting the flavour without the concentrated or artificial crap!
Another thing, if you love nothing more than a Pick & Mix, force yourself to make a trip to your nearest big branch of Holland & Barrett to pick up some healthy Pick & Mix alternatives in the form of dry fruits or yoghurt coated nuts / raisins. Your body will thank you in the long run!
3) “Rid your cupboards from all the unhealthy stuff”
This is difficult. Especially when you live with people whom sugary stuff doesn’t effect in the same way and/or are not sugar dependant. I don’t want my household to sacrifice their want for a treat just because I’m wanting to cut down…
In fact, it might sound silly, but I like a challenge. I like knowing that all of my favourite foods are in a cupboard and I’m choosing not to devour them. It’s all about training your mind and having that self-control. Know that they’re there and that you can’t avoid them but choose to say “no” and only have it in “moderation”.
The word “no” and the ability to do things in “moderation” are very important.
4) “Fill kitchen with healthy sugary alternatives”
This one I fully and wholeheartedly agree with. I do this. I buy lots of mangos, figs, lychees, watermelons, Pink Lady or Granny Smith apples, grapes, and oranges along with dried fruits like dates, yoghurt coated dried cranberries, and yoghurt coated nuts. They’re my alternatives. I mean, I even pick up a tub of Snog (frozen yoghurt) instead of Ben & Jerry’s… Who would’ve ever thought that I would be doing this? Not me, and I’ve lived in my own body for 25+ years!
So, you see, it’s all in the mind, and our bad habits are never irreversible. We’re creatures of habit but we’re also humans who should want a better life for ourselves.
No-one wants to become diabetic, have to go through health problems, or lose their teeth earlier than they should. All we want is be healthier and happier, no?
As I said and will keep saying, there are other ways of getting sugar into our system. But, the most important thing is training our minds not to turn to sugar for comfort before/during/after a stressful situation and/or letting sugar dictate our moods.
We are in charge, not what we put into our system! I wish I’d learned this years ago… If I had, I probably wouldn’t have become this reliant on it. But, everything happens for a reason and it’s better to learn now than never at all, right?
Also – girls – sugar doesn’t help with Pre-Menstrual symptoms. Instead, it makes our stomach cramps worse… Google it!
Darn Eve and that apple! She couldn’t stay away from it, could she?
God love her, but if it wasn’t for her we wouldn’t be getting punished like this every month!